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Sunday, Oct 24, 2021
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Weak In Math

An interesting attempt to communicate the beauty of mathematics using the medium of a novel. But there is little else to recommend it.

Weak In Math
Weak In Math
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
Mathematics is an odd beast. For some, it is the epitome of human knowledge and evokes a feeling of wonder and beauty. But most people have a phobia of numbers. A Certain Ambiguity is an interesting attempt to communicate the beauty of mathematics using the medium of a novel. But there is little else to recommend it.

Writing good popular science is a challenging task—to be able to communicate the nature of the subject, its beauty and consistency in an easy to understand way for the lay audience, without trivialising the subject or glossing over its intricacies, is difficult. And when the subject is mathematics, this is doubly so.

The novel chronicles the discovery a young man, himself fascinated by mathematics, makes about his mathematician grandfather being imprisoned for having blasphemous ideas. The grandson’s journey to uncover the true story about his grandfather weaves in the mathematics. And there is a lot of mathematics—from Euclidean geometry to number theory to Cantor’s Infinities to Gödel. And that is a...

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